(1.) a name formerly used on the Continent of Europe to designate all members of the so-called Reformed churches, as distinguished from the Lutheran Church. It is still so used to a certain extent, especially in France and Austria.
(2.) It is now generally in use to designate those who receive the theological tenets of Calvin, without regard to Church or sect. SEE CALVIN; SEE CALVINISM. In the early part of the 16th century the Reformed churches of Switzerland, Hungary, France, Germany,: and Holland were all Calvinistic in this sense; now the proportion of Calvinists in some of them is small. The Presbyterian churches of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America are, with few exceptions, Calvinistic. So also are many of the Independent and Congregational churches, both in England and America. In the Church of England, and the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, Calvinism prevails to a certain extent, but statistics are wanting. Bishop Burgess remarks that "although the Church of England had been represented at the Synod of Dort, its clergy acquiesced not at all in the determination of that assembly, and the bishops who were there were among the last of their order who have written upon the side which was there triumphant. The Calvinism of the Church grew fainter till it scarcely struggled. It was not so much overcomely direct assaults as supplanted through the more ecclesiastical spirit which predominated at the Restoration. For a century after, its voice was almost unheard, except along with the irregularities of Whitefield, and then it was much more than overbalanced by the Arminianirm of Wesley. Within the last century it has Leen revived in the writings of many pious men, but can scarcely be viewed as having very largely affected the prevalent teaching of Episcopalians, either in Great Britain or in America" (Bibliotheca Sacra, 1863, p. 863). The Dutch Reformed Church, the larger part of the Baptists and of the Welsh Methodists, are also Calvinists.